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Had it not been for her sister taking an interest in swimming, perhaps Danielle Titus would not be the accomplished swimmer she is today.
Danielle, who began swimming at the tender age of three, said it was her sister Tiffany Titus who was always the better swimmer. She said that motivated her to put an effort into swimming, and she quickly reaped the rewards having copped a bronze medal in a backstroke event. “My sister wanted to join a swimming programme, so our parents signed us up. She was doing a lot better than me, I wasn’t good at it,” she said, “she was the one getting the medals, then one year I decided that I was going to push really hard and then I got a bronze.”
Danielle was just getting her feet wet. The 14-year-old went on to win two gold and two silver medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games, four golds and three silvers at the 2016 CARIFTA Games, and 12 gold and one silver medals at the local Titans meet where she broke 10 records.
The Harrison College student said it was a dream of hers to swim for Barbados at the Olympics, and she was currently working hard to improve her times. “Going to the 2020 Games would be a great achievement. We had Leah Martindale and Nicholas Neckles, who paved the way for young swimmers such as me,” she said.
She added that she wanted more young people to not only get involved in swimming but to stay in the sport. “I want to see swimming go far. The younger kids are doing really well but I want them to be consistent. Many kids start but then they stop,” she said, “I want them to have a goal, and put in the effort to prove that Barbados can produce top swimmers.”
Danielle pointed out that swimming taught many life skills such as discipline, and it was also a fun sport to be involved in. She said her parents were her biggest supporters and would always motivate her to put her best stroke forward. “My parents always support me and encourage me to strive for excellence. If I don’t do my best they would not tear me down, they would sit and talk to me about how I can improve,” she noted.
She said balancing her academics with her hectic swim schedule was no easy task, but maintained that she was good with time management, adding that she hoped to get a scholarship.
The backstroke swimmer, who enjoys singing and dancing, said she was looking forward to the Barbados Olympic Association’s 50th Anniversary Independence Games, which she said was a “nice way for people to come together to socialise and watch the local athletes”.
Danielle noted that she was also eager for the upcoming World Championships, and Inter-School Swim Sports at which she would be competing in all events.
She said she aspired to be as great as her role model, five-time Olympic gold-medalist, Katie Ledecky.